The North-east District Golf Association has finally had to admit defeat to the coronavirus pandemic despite the sport’s return in Scotland this week.
The eight-week lockdown and the continued consequences of Covid-19 have forced the district to call off this season’s events including the Evening Express Champion of Champions, which was sponsored by Aberdein Considine.
District secretary George Young said: “We’ve just run out of time.
“The committee gave it every chance, but we knew last month that it was going to be difficult for players to become competitive again and for the district to stage the tournaments at some clubs where the clubhouses might not even be open.
“Obviously, we welcome the return of golf this week, but the virus has not gone away and we will still be subject to the rules and regulations as to what we can and cannot do.
“We had hoped to stage the Champion of Champions as the individual matches are organised by the players themselves.
“But the committee felt it would be unfair on the players to rush them back to play matches as no one has swung a club in earnest for the past eight weeks.
“It’s unfortunate because the inaugural ladies Champion of Champions was due to be played this year and we were really looking forward to hosting the four finals at Newburgh in September.
“However, there is still some good news.
“The district has also decided that all the players in the draws for the 2020 Champion of Champions will be automatically entered into the 2021 competition alongside the 2020 club champions … if there are any!
“The four tournaments will be redrawn and the draws and players’ details will be issued again next March.”
The North-east District has already cancelled the Phillips Trophy at Peterhead and the North-east Seniors Championship at Oldmeldrum.
The next events had been the Journal Cup at Craibstone on July 11 and the Jaffray Cup at Murcar Links the following day.
George added: “I’m sorry we have had to take this course of action, but we have not been left with any choice. I’m sure the players will understand.
“Hopefully, 2021 will be a better year and will offer the opportunity to enjoy the game we all love so much.”